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Namkhana Rape Case: Calcutta HC Seeks Status Report, Orders Enquiry Into Allegations Of Procedural Irregularities In Probe

Aaratrika Bhaumik
17 May 2022 3:21 PM GMT
Calcutta high court, habeas corpus plea, West Bengal government, son, father, missing, correctional home, report, Justice Shampa Sarkar and Justice Bibhas Ranjan De, Justice R. K. Kapur and Justice Krishna Rao, Presidency Correctional Home, alipore jail,
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The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday ordered IPS officer Damayanti Sen to submit a status report on the next date of hearing pertaining to the probe into the Namkhana rape case wherein a 40-year-old woman was reportedly gang-raped on April 8 by five men in West Bengal's Namkhana village and an attempt had also been made to pour kerosene inside the victim's private parts and set her ablaze.

The Court had earlier directed IPS officer Damayanti Sen to oversee the probe into the case along with the investigation of 4 other recent rape cases in Deganga, Matia, Ingrejbazar and Banshdroni villages of West Bengal.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice Prakasha Shrivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj was adjudicating upon a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition moved by women advocates of the High Court seeking a CBI probe into 5 recent rape cases that are reported in various districts of West Bengal last month. Incidents of rape have been reported to have taken place at Netra and Namkhana villages in South 24 Parganas district, at Pingla in West Midnapore district, at a village near Santiniketan in Birbhum district and at Mainaguri of Jalpaiguri district in West Bengal last month.

On Tuesday, the counsel appearing for the petitioner apprised the Court that the investigating authorities had not complied with the requirements enumerated under Section 164A CrPC (medical examination of victim of rape) and further submitted that although the undergarments, saree, blouse and ornaments of the victim had been seized no further step has been taken by the investigating authorities. It was further alleged that the seized blood stained garments of the rape victim had not been sent for a chemical examination.

Advocate General S.N Mookherjee appearing for the State government submitted that he does not have instructions on the matter and further contended that the petitioner should give in writing the grievances raised.

Pursuant to the submissions, the Court directed IPS officer Damayanti Sen to look into the allegations and ensure that the investigation is carried out by covering all relevant aspects which need to enquired into in such offences. She was further ordered to submit a report detailing the progress of the investigation on the next date of hearing.

The matter is slated to be heard next on June 20.

Case Title: Pallabi Chatterjee and Ors v. State of West Bengal and other connected matters

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